Festival: Doggie Do

Dublin’s inaugural Doggie Do is set to transform Merrion Square into a dog-lover’s delight this September. Celebrating our unique bond with our canine pals and inspired by the annual Halloween Dog Parade in New York City’s East Village, the Doggie Do promises a variety of pooch-friendly activities and events and a grand family day out. Dog owners can gem up on all manner of expert advice including responsible dog ownership guidance, vet Q&As, talks from top groomers & trainers, participatory sideshows involving agility and scent trials, while their four-legged friends will be given the opportunity to indulge in a spot of me time in the ‘Doggie and Soul’ chill out area. A parade of dogs will lead to the day’s grand finale – the crowning of the inaugural ‘Dog of Dublin’. Has your pooch got the pizazz to take the prize? There’s only one way to find out…

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Art: Dublin Gallery Weekend

Showcasing the best of Dublin’s art scene over the course of one exciting weekend, Dublin Gallery Weekend features thirty galleries and sixty events including exhibition openings, artist and curator talks, walking tours, late openings, workshops and much more. If the idea of a whistle stop tour of Dublin’s thriving art scene appeals then there’s never been a better opportunity. Galleries such as IMMA, Nag Gallery, Science Gallery, Douglas Hyde, RHA, Project Arts Centre, NCAD will all be participating while a series of walking tours promise to reveal the cities cultural highlights in areas like Trinity, Parnell Square, Monto, The Coombe, St. Stephens Green and Temple Bar. There’s so much to see and do that a bit of pre-planning might be wise if you want to make the most out of Dublin Gallery Weekend. Pick up a Dublin Gallery Weekend map (available at www.dublingallerymap.ie) and a copy of the event listings and start plotting your route around Dublin.

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Festival: Tiger Dublin Fringe

Ireland’s leading multidisciplinary arts festival returns to Dublin this September with another eclectic programme of treats from every corner of the cultural landscape. As ever the diverse line-up encompasses performance, theatre, music, art, comedy, dance and more besides, but while its remit is broad enough to embrace all manner of artistic endeavour the Dublin Fringe remains steadfastly dedicated to providing a platform for brave, innovative performing art in the Irish capital. This year the Dublin Fringe turns 21 and it will be celebrating with the return of the spectacular Spiegeltent, which takes up residence in Wolf Tone Square. The Spiegeltent will host an exciting programme that includes the sublime electronica of Holly Herndon and Christian Löffler and the heady drama of Scotch and Soda’s stunning circus performance. Elsewhere, Object Piggy bring interactive performance art to the Lir Academy and the Project Arts Centre hosts the Irish premiere of George Brant’s Grounded.

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Fashion: Dublin Fashion Festival

Time to strut your stuff this September as Dublin brings you a stylish date for your diary. Returning for its 6th year, the Dublin Fashion Festival is set to unite over 250 fashion and beauty retailers, restaurants, bars and hotels in a celebration of all things sartorial. Over the past decade Dublin has become an increasingly stylish city, and now boasts an alluring array of shopping options, from designer and high street to vintage. DFF aims to bring them all together to create a heady mix of live fashion events, on-street catwalk shows, in-store activities and workshops, as well as a slew of special offers designed to get you fashionistas shopping til you drop. At the heart of the action will be the city’s 8 flagships: Brown Thomas & BT2, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Powerscourt Centre, Arnotts, Ilac Shopping Centre (including Debenhams), Jervis Shopping Centre & Penneys, but look out for events taking place at venues all across the city.

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Festival: London Mela

London Mela is well established as one of the capital’s most exciting festivals and an undoubted highlight of the city’s cultural calendar. Established in 2003, London Mela was an immediate hit, attracting 60,000 revellers to Gunnersbury Park in Ealing in what proved to be one of the biggest and boldest celebrations of South Asian culture outside Asia itself. Twelve years later Gunnersbury Park is once again set to be transformed into a vibrant platform for the very best in South Asian music, dance and visual art as Mela returns to for another inspired celebration of Asian culture in London. Spread over nine zones, Mela promises something for everyone – there’ll be a diverse musical line up featuring everything from classical Asian music to the latest urban acts, dance, comedy and Asian street theatre plus a mouth watering array of food stalls touting authentic Asian cuisine. A spectacular firework display will bring the day’s festivities to a suitably spectacular finale.

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: Grillstock

The standard of food available at the average music festival has seriously improved in recent years. Dodgy burger vans have mostly been supplanted by an exciting array of street food stalls and the modern day festivalgoer can usually expect to fuel their fun with the sort of foodie fare you’d have struggled to find outside Borough Market ten years ago. Grillstock takes the foodiefication of festivals a step further by giving the grub equal billing to the music. Organised in partnership with Waltham Forest Council, Grillstock promises to bring the BBQ flavours of the Deep South to Walthamstow, along with an excellent lineup of musical attractions including the Fun Loving Criminals, Razorlight, DJ Yoda and the Cuban Bros. Grillstock’s winning formula of meat, music and mayhem has already taken Bristol and Manchester by storm and arrives in East London with a packed lineup of BBQ bacchanalia including eating competitions, masterclasses and a ‘King of the Grill’ competition.

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Film: Portobello Film Festival

Dubbed ‘the wild side of British film’ by Metro, the Portobello Film Festival has been a fixture in the UK cinematic calendar since it debuted in 1996 and remains one of the country’s foremost showcases for emerging independent filmmakers. The festival’s stated aim has always been to give daring leftfield filmmakers a platform and as such hasn’t always enjoyed an easy ride. Nonetheless, even when cinema screens have been hard to come by the festival has come up with a variety of innovative solutions – often utilising pubs, clubs and parks -and remains in rude health. This year’s festival hits Notting Hill on the 4th September for 16 days of exciting and adventurous independent cinema, all of which is absolutely free. The festival’s main venue will be a pop-up cinema under the Westway on Acklam Road and a full programme can be viewed on the Portobello Film Festival website.

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Dance: Kaleidoscope Night

Now in its 7th year, the new season of Dublin’s Kaleidoscope Night is ushered in this September with a gala launch at a very special venue. The monthly celebration brings the worlds of classical, contemporary and experimental music together, and for the first time, moves out if its traditional home at the Odessa Club and into various new venues throughout the season. Taking place in the uniquely intimate and spiritual setting of the Unitarian Church on St Stephen’s Green, the gala programme will delight those looking for a taste of Dublin’s finest musical talents. Featuring New Dublin Voices directed by Bernie Sherlock, as well as Francesco Turrisi & the Taquin Experiments, you’ll hear Mozart’s Gran Partita Serenade no. 10 for 13 winds, John Adams’ Shaker Loops, Irish choral works and more. Founded by violinist Cliodhna Ryan and cellist Kate Ellis, and curated by violist Karen Dervan and cellist Lioba Petrie since 2014, Kaleidoscope Nights has become an Irish musical institution. Showcasing the country’s premier performers of all genres, it creates unique evenings of musical discovery.

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Festival: Proms On The Pier

This summer the beautiful Dun Laoghaire harbour in County Dublin plays host to the inaugural Proms on the Pier festival, a spectacular celebration of the best sounds from the 70s and 80s set before the scenic environs of Dublin Bay. An exceptional line-up has been assembled to perform in the all seater outdoor arena over the weekend of the 29th and 30th August including such luminaries as Midge Ure, Johnny Logan, Bjorn Again, 10cc, Air Supply, Melanie McCabe and Phil Coulter. The With 5,000 music lovers expected for both dates and a champagne tent and full bar in attendance Proms On The Pier looks set to provide two very special evenings of irresistibly nostalgic entertainment. Saturday 29th August Featuring 10cc, Proms Party Orchestra, Midge Ure, Bjorn Again (Australia), Proms Party Orchestra conducted by Phil Coulter, The Definitive Rat Pack and Melanie McCabe & The Sugarcubes Band, MD Eugene McCarthy. Sunday 30TH August Featuring Air Supply Music, Johnny Logan, Proms Party Orchestra conducted by Phil Coulter, Karen Carpenter Show featuring Toni Lee and Melanie McCabe & The Sugarcubes Band, MD Eugene McCarthy.

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